Nature of Your Neighborhood

Watch Out for Something Wild on Broadway
Did you know that there are likely more birds by weight in Capitol Hill than there are in an equivalent area of forest in the Cascades? Or that the tallest Hawthorn tree in the world lives in Volunteer Park? Or that several species of magic mushrooms grow around the neighborhood? All true. It might seem counterintuitive, but Capitol Hill is a great place to connect with nature.

We think that’s something worth celebrating. Each month, Seattle Audubon, the Capitol Hill EcoDistrict, and the Seattle Bird Conservation Partnership are offering free workshops that will invite you to slow down, notice, and connect with the nature of your neighborhood.

Join us for one workshop or join us for all. Everybody welcome. Nobody pays.

UPCOMING WORKSHOPS

The Street Smart Naturalist: Capitol Hill

May 20, 2021, 6-7 PM

With its hip and trendy vibe, Capitol Hill is often seen as the epitome of urban living. And, yet, for those who take the time to slow down and pay attention, it also has a wealth of natural history from native oak trees to curbs made of 32 million-year-old granite to seep-fed ecosystems. On this virtual tour of the hill, naturalist and author David B. Williams will share some of the stories and locations he has found from a lifetime (he grew up on the hill) of exploration. Along the way, he’ll give you a new appreciation of the nature of the city and its wild side. Register for free here.

David B. Williams (he/him)

David B. Williams (he/him)

David B. Williams is an author, naturalist, and tour guide whose award-winning book Too High and Too Steep: Reshaping Seattle’s Topography explores the unprecedented engineering projects that shaped Seattle during the early part of the twentieth century. He is also the author of Seattle Walks: Discovering History and Nature in the CityStories in Stone: Travels Through Urban Geology, and The Seattle Street-Smart Naturalist: Field Notes from the City. Williams is also a Curatorial Associate at the Burke Museum. His upcoming book, Homewaters: A Human and Natural History of Puget Sound, will be published in April 2021. 

Microevolution in Feral Pigeons: a Tale in Three Parts

June 10, 2021, 5-6 PM

Well known to most urban residents, the rock pigeon is a physically variable bird with striking plumage differences in some areas. Europeans brought the first pigeons to North America in 1606 and these birds have since become a widespread species, populating most human-inhabited areas of the continent. Since their colonization, it is possible that pigeons have evolved new populations on this continent. This research examines the diversity in pigeon populations in the United States and the implications of this variability on the species. Register for free here.

Sarah Rackowski (she/they)

Sarah Rackowski (she/they)

Sarah Rackowski is a high school student from Princeton, New Jersey, and has been interested in birds and nature for as long as she can remember. She began birdwatching in elementary school and ever since has been fascinated by birds and their environments. Preparation for her research on feral pigeons began in her first year of high school and throughout her senior year. Sarah’s study of the microevolution and regional variation of feral pigeons took her from Maine to Florida to collect data. With her results identified and paper written, her research is slated for publication by 2022. Aside from the hard science side of avian study, Sarah is also interested in nature in art and literature, as well as the philosophy of science.

WORKSHOP ARCHIVES 

Container Gardening for Kitchen and Wildlife

April 8, 2021

It’s spring! The days are getting longer, the birds are singing, and plants are starting to wake up. If you’ve got gardening goals, April is a great month to get started, even if you don’t have a plot in a P-Patch.

In this workshop, longtime garden professional Jose Gonzales will share his tips and tricks for creating beautiful container gardens. Jose will dive into container gardening with shrubs, trees, herbs, veggies, perennials, and annuals. A special focus will be on plantings that provide pollinators with food and that encourage bird habitat. Watch the recording on Vimeo.

Jose Gonzales (he/him)

Jose Gonzales (he/him)

Jose Gonzales (he/him) has been a garden professional for over 20 years. Growing up in the PNW, Jose has learned to appreciate our unique climate and learned how to care for our natural environment through plants and gardening. He worked at City People’s Garden Store for 20 years, as well as being one of the owners from 2017-2020. As a gardener, helping people upkeep and design their garden areas, installing above ground drip irrigation, problem solving all kinds of plant issues- his passion for plants always shines through. He also finds great joy and satisfaction as the leader of the popular jazz trio, The Jose ‘Juicy’ Gonzales Trio.

Observing and Documenting Pollinators in Your Neighborhood

March 18, 2021

Look closer…and meet the local insects that pollinate the plants around your Seattle neighborhoods! Erin Sullivan and Katie Remine of Woodland Park Zoo will introduce you to some of our amazing native pollinating insects. We also share how you can join us to increase our understanding of urban biodiversity by participating in City Nature Challenge 2021!  Watch the recording on Vimeo.

Katie Remine (she/her)

Katie Remine (she/her)

Katie Remine coordinates Woodland Park Zoo’s involvement in Pacific northwest wildlife conservation, including projects to recover local endangered species and projects to help communities coexist with local wildlife from carnivores to pollinators. Katie is a particular fan of bumble bees and – of course – katydids!

Erin Sullivan (she/her)

Erin Sullivan (she/her)

Erin Sullivan works in the Animal Management Department at Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle where she shares her passion for the amazing world of invertebrates through informal education while participating in conservation efforts and scientific research.  In her free time, Erin can be found photographing insects in her backyard or anywhere insects may be flying.

Mason Bees!

February 11, 2021

Learn how to keep and care for Mason Bees, our earliest native pollinators. This workshop will guide you through the process and materials needed to help you decide if Mason Bees are right for you and your garden, whether you have a small deck or an open garden. Watch the recording on Vimeo.

Jose Gonzales (he/him)

Jose Gonzales (he/him)

Jose Gonzales (he/him) has been a garden professional for over 20 years. Growing up in the PNW, Jose has learned to appreciate our unique climate and learned how to care for our natural environment through plants and gardening. He worked at City People’s Garden Store for 20 years, as well as being one of the owners from 2017-2020. As a gardener, helping people upkeep and design their garden areas, installing above ground drip irrigation, problem solving all kinds of plant issues- his passion for plants always shines through. He also finds great joy and satisfaction as the leader of the popular jazz trio, The Jose ‘Juicy’ Gonzales Trio.

Habitat for All: Improving the Right-of-Way for Birds and People

January 21, 2021

Do you want to plant a tree, create butterfly habitat, or start a vegetable garden but don’t have a yard? Have you signed up for a plot at the Thomas Street P-Patch but know in your heart it’ll be a decade before you hear back? Well, have you considered what you can do in the right-of way?

Rights-of-way account for nearly 25% of Seattle’s land area and many are lined with planting strips that may be suitable for community gardening and other plantings. In this workshop, you’ll learn how improving the right-of-way with trees, plants, and gardens benefits birds and people. You’ll also learn about the many benefits of improving the right-of-way for health, safety, and the environment. You’ll also learn what steps you can take to make sure your right-of-way plantings are secure, legal, and viable over time. Watch the recording on Vimeo.

Erin Fried (she/her)

Erin Fried (she/her)

Erin Fried, EcoDistrict Program Manager, is an urban planner with a background in environmental policy, diplomacy, and restorative justice. She leads the Capitol Hill EcoDistrict’s public life work and staffs the Capitol Hill Arts District. Originally from Baltimore, she lived in Capitol Hill for ten years and still enjoys meeting friends and colleagues in its many parks, sidewalks, and passageways.
Casey Rogers

Casey Rogers

Casey works with Seattle Department of Transportation’s Public Space Management Program Development to engage community and business  activation of public space and support the City’s goal for a vibrant public realm.

Life in Surprising Places: Urban Birding in Capitol Hill

December 10, 2020

Are you restricting your travel? Are you missing outdoor adventures? Us too. But here’s the good news: You don’t need to leave the Hill to find something wild. Join Seattle Audubon’s Anna Murphy on a virtual trip across Capitol Hill to discover life in surprising places. Anna will lead us down 11th Ave E from Volunteer Park to Seattle University and along the way, we’ll learn about urban habitat types, how to identify the unique birds they support, and what we can do to make the neighborhood a safer place for them to live. Watch the recording on Vimeo.

Anna Murphy (she/her)

Anna Murphy (she/her)

Anna Murphy (she/her) is an environmental educator and naturalist passionate about sharing the wonders of the Pacific Northwest. She is interested in increasing cultural awareness in her approach to educational programming. Anna has led interpretive hikes and tours about Pacific Northwest flora and fauna for student groups and families through Seattle Parks, at the Seattle Aquarium and with the Seattle Mountaineers Club.

More workshops are in the works. Check back for new announcements soon!

Nature of your Neighborhood workshops are part of the Seattle Bird Conservation Partnership’s Capitol Hill Connections project.